Hannibal Buress Imposter Dishes on Hilarious Stunt at Spider-Man: Homecoming Premiere As Actor Approves
Hannibal Buress just pulled one of the funniest red-carpet stunts — and it was all planned last minute
Hannibal Buress just pulled one of the funniest red-carpet stunts — and it was all planned at the last minute.
Actor-director Joe Carroll was home Wednesday night when he got a funny email from Buress asking Carroll to stand in for him at Hollywood premiere of Spider-Man: Homecoming, in which Buress stars.
“I’ve actually done body-double work for him before, but not on this capacity,” Carroll tells PEOPLE. “I didn’t actually know what he wanted me to do for this until last minute. I was cooking dinner and he emailed me, and I had less than an hour to get ready.”
Buress was on set in Atlanta shooting the star-studded movie Tag, out June 28 of next year, when he came up with the idea to have a lookalike attend for him. Not wanting to miss out entirely on the premiere, he thought it’d be funny to have a guy pretend to be him — but he had no idea it would take off.
“I was on set, in between shooting while it was all happening,” Buress tells PEOPLE. “I just couldn’t not be involved at all, and I knew it would get some interest, I but I definitely didn’t expect it to go this crazy. I don’t know how the higher ups feel about it, but I think it was good for all parties. It’s a fun thing — it was harmless.”
Carroll briefly prepared for the gig by watching videos of Buress to learn the comedian’s mannerisms before hiring a car and making his way over to Hollywood for the red carpet. Once he got there, he admits, “There were a few moments when I thought the jig was up.” Still, he kept his cool and just whispered to his driver to “keep going, keep going, keep going.”
Buress, on the other hand, was watching from across the country waiting to see if Carroll could pull it off. “I didn’t think he was gonna get on! It was like watching an action thriller movie,” the actor admits. “I was watching it with Jon Hamm and Jake Johnson and it was just really exciting. We were like, ‘Okay, okay, how far away are you?!’ It was more fun than me doing the carpet.”
Once he got on the carpet, Carroll says it was “exhilarating and overwhelming” — but no one really questioned his presence. “You’re surrounded by people and signing autographs and 99% of the people don’t know who you really are,” he says, adding that he did briefly interact with some of the cast, but they didn’t realize what was happening.
From PEN: 23 Oscar Nominees Reveal The Untold Stories Behind Their Films
Carroll took pictures with fans and signed autographs before making his way over to the photographers, where he posed for the cameras. He also took a major risk and went over for an interview as Buress — and he still didn’t get caught.
“I only did one interview with Marvel Live, and she clearly didn’t know who I was,” Carroll admits.
And Buress was impressed with Carroll’s poise in the interview.
“He said the same stuff I would’ve said!” Buress says. “Like, ‘I had a good time, great opportunity, Spider-Man is cool’ — that’s the same s—! He did a great job.”
In the end, Carroll says he left early because his phone died and he “wanted to leave before it got too awkward or someone figured it out.”
Buress’ rep did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment, and a rep for Sony did not comment.
As for whether he’d do it again, Carroll admits that it’ll be harder for him to sneak in now but he’d love to set foot on a carpet again someday.
“I would definitely love to do a red carpet again — but under my own name,” says Carroll, who is also the author of Inaugural Secrets, the first in a drama-suspense book series.